Lakes Near Scottsdale
Scottsdale Area Lakes. Sitting at the northern reaches of the scenic Sonoran Desert in the Salt River Valley, the Phoenix area is known for its arid climate as well as for its gorgeous desert landscapes accented by several small mountain ranges surrounding the city. Both locals and visitors alike often head to the area's lakes to cool off and enjoy a variety of water recreation activities. The lakes are truly hidden gems, offering a spectacular oasis of sparkling blue waters in this desert landscape.
Canyon Lake is the smallest of four lakes that were created by damming the Salt River. What the lake lacks in size, it makes up for in natural beauty. Canyon Lake is surrounded by red rock formations and canyon walls, providing visitors with a spectacular backdrop to savor while they enjoy a range of recreational activities on the lake. Canyon Lake is conveniently located just sixteen miles from Apache Junction, along a scenic route marked by ancient cliff dwellings and the Superstition Mountains.
From the Phoenix area, you can reach Canyon Lake in less than an hour. Across the lake's 28 miles of shoreline, it is common to see people swimming, camping, picnicking, and simply lounging by the water's edge and enjoying the view. The lake is also popular for boating, jet skiing, water skiing, and windsurfing, with easy water access at the full service Canyon Lake Marina and Campground. The lake is home to a variety of fish including walleye, large mouth bass, yellow bass, rainbow trout, and more, making it ideal for a fishing trip. While you are visiting Canyon Lake, keep your eyes open for abundant wildlife, such as big horn sheep, javelina, and deer.
Saguaro Lake was also formed as a result of damming the Salt River. This picturesque lake enjoys a convenient location just 47 miles from downtown Phoenix and is set amidst the beautiful Tonto National Forest. There is a nominal entrance fee to Saguaro Lake, but the fee is well worth the experience of spending some time on the lake. The beautiful blue waters of the lake sparkle against the pink and yellow outcroppings of rocks and cliffs on the shoreline, creating an enchanting setting for a day on the lake. The lake is one of the deepest in the area, reaching 118 feet in some areas. With its depth, Saguaro Lake is often one of the coolest and most refreshing in the area to enjoy water recreation.
The Butcher Jones' picnic and swimming area and the Saguaro Del Norte Recreation Area are hugely popular places for locals and visitors to cool off on hot summer days. With over 1,200 water-covered acres, Saguaro Lake is also popular for boats as well as jet skiers. The lake is a fisherman's haven, filled with brown and rainbow trout, yellow and large mouth bass, walleye, crappie, and more. Visitors to the lake are often rewarded with glimpses of wildlife like big horn sheep, eagles, mule deer, and more. After a great day on the lake, the Saguaro Lake Restaurant overlooking the Saguaro Lake Marina offers exceptional sunset views of the lake as well as delicious meals.
Lake Pleasant is the largest lake in the Phoenix area, featuring over 10,000 water-covered acres and an impressive 50 miles of shoreline. This lake is just thirty miles north of Phoenix, making it convenient for locals and visitors to access. With much of the lake waters supplied by the Aqua Fria River which is fed by rain and melted snow from northern Arizona, the waters are typically cool and refreshing even in the warmest of summer months.
With so much room on the water at Lake Pleasant, this lake is the preferred destination for those with boating in mind. It is not uncommon to see the lake filled with water skiers, jet skiers, canoes, kayaks, and other watercraft on warm days. The lake is also a top fishing spot in the area, with some of the biggest fish in the area angled here. Some of the fish you can find here include striped bass, white and black crappie, channel catfish, and more. Other popular activities at Lake Pleasant including tent and RV camping, picnicking, and hiking.
Tempe Town Lake.
Tempe Town Lake is a small 2-mile long lake. Located in the heart of the Valley of the Sun, Tempe Town Lake is convenient to residents and visitors to the Phoenix area. The lake was formed by damming part of the normally dry Salt River between Phoenix and Tempe, Arizona. This incredibly popular urban lake sets along the edges of Downtown Tempe and Arizona Sate University. Surrounding the lake, you will find grassy knolls that are popular for lounging around and enjoying lake views as well as picnicking. There are also paved sidewalks around this two mile lake, making it a great spot for skating, walking and jogging.
While small, you can enjoy a variety of boating activities on Tempe Town Lake, such as rowing, sailing, and paddling. Watercraft rentals are available through Rio Lago Cruise Company. Tempe Town Lake is stocked with rainbow trout annually and has a natural population of largemouth bass. The several small amphitheaters and the Tempe Center for the Arts on the lake. Several events are held at the lake during the year including outdoor concerts, the Fourth of July Celebration and the Fantasy of Lights Boat Parade held during the holiday season.